Bryn Mawr Archaeologists
with the OSS
in World War II Greece
April 11, 2013
Carpenter Library, Room B21
Bryn Mawr College
A Public Lecture by Susan Heuck Allen
Susan Heuck Allen’s book Classical Spies (2011) recounts the archaeologist-led secret U.S. intelligence service in Nazi-occupied World War II Greece. Based in Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Egypt, and Turkey, this network drew on the scholars’ personal contacts and knowledge of languages and terrain and involved such pursuits as burying Athenian dig records in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep school connections to establish spies code-named Vulture and Chickadee, and organizing parachute drops. Dr. Allen conducted extensive in-person interviews, shadowed spies, and sleuthed in archives on three continents to piece together the first insider account of the “extracurricular” activities of her professors’ generation during and after the War.
In this presentation, Dr. Allen focuses on the prominent role that scholars connected to Bryn Mawr College played in this endeavor, including such figures as Virginia Grace, Margaret Crosby, Dorothy Hanna Cox, Lily Ross Taylor, and Hetty Goldman, individuals who broke new ground for women both in their disciplines and – as this talk reveals - beyond.
Dr. Allen earned an AB in History from Smith College and an MA and PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Cincinnati and Brown University respectively. She has swum the Hellespont and excavated in Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, and Greece. A visiting scholar in the Department of Classics at Brown University, Allen has taught at Yale University and Smith College and currently teaches in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Science at the Rhode Island School of Design.